What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Texas Voter ID Law Struck Down; Cruz Enrages Convention: ‘Vote Your Conscience’

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Texas's Voter ID Law Struck Down

Ann Moss checks a voter's ID before signing her in to vote at Hunters Creek Elementary School in Houston. (Photo by Lucian Perkins /for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Texas voter ID law struck down –> An appeals court’s decision to throw out the law as discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act — it’s considered the worst in the nation — could mean that some 600,000 people who might have been turned away will be able to vote in November. Ari Berman at The Nation: “The law ‘imposes significant and disparate burdens on the right to vote,’ and has ‘a discriminatory effect on minorities’ voting rights,’ the majority held. Judge Catharina Haynes, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote the opinion. With the Supreme Court divided 4-4, this is likely the definitive word on the case… As we approach the 51st anniversary of the VRA on Aug. 6, the historic civil rights law is weakened, but not dead yet.”

Ted Cruz’s turn of phrase –> You have to wonder what Donald Trump’s people thought would happen when they let the man their candidate calls Lyin’ Ted on stage last night. Brian Beutler for The New Republic: “Rather than placate Trump’s supporters, Cruz played both ends against the middle. If the purpose of the convention is to foster party unity, Cruz’s aim was to sow division. He picked a fight with Trump’s supporters, knowing it would pit many of his people in the room against them. Cruz told the crowd, and millions watching at home, not to vote for Trump, but to ‘vote your conscience.’ When Trump supporters in the crowd started booing, he goaded them further, ‘I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.’ The New York delegation is of course filled with members of Trump’s family. Cruz may as well have told Trump’s children to shut their mouths and show him some respect.”

Fend for yourselves –> In a disturbing interview on foreign policy with David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, Trump “explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance. Mr. Trump re-emphasized the hard-line nationalist approach that has marked his improbable candidacy, describing how he would force allies to shoulder defense costs that the United States has borne for decades, cancel long-standing treaties he views as unfavorable and redefine what it means to be a partner of the United States.”

And just in case you had any doubt where Donald Trump stood on climate change –> Reuters’ Michelle Conlin: “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma oil and gas mogul Harold Hamm as energy secretary if elected to the White House on Nov. 8, according to four sources close to Trump’s campaign. The chief executive of Continental Resources (CLR.N) would be the first US energy secretary drawn directly from the oil and gas industry since the Cabinet position was created in 1977, a move that would jolt environmental advocates but bolster Trump’s pro-drilling energy platform.”

Big tobacco and big oil’s shared playbook –> Katie Herzog at Grist: “The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) analyzed industry documents dating back to the 1950s. CIEL found that when tobacco sought to confuse the public over smoking, it turned [to] a strategy already in use by oil companies, one that sowed doubt on lead, smog and climate research. Both industries employed PR firm Hill & Knowlton Inc., for public outreach — the very PR firm that helped tobacco executives hatch a plan to hide the mounting evidence linking smoking with cancer. ‘Again and again we found both the PR firms and the researchers worked first for oil, then for tobacco,’ said CIEL President Carroll Muffett in a statement. ‘It was a pedigree the tobacco companies recognized and sought out.'”

Again –> An unarmed black man, Charles Kinsey, who is a behavior therapist at a group home in Florida, was shot in the leg by police while on the ground with his hands in the air. He had been attempting to return to the home an autistic man holding a toy truck when a 911 call reported that the man had a gun. WSVN Miami: “Cellphone video was released Wednesday afternoon showing Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air, telling officers that weapons are not necessary.”

“I put lipstick on a pig” –> On Monday, in an interview with Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, the ghostwriter behind Trump’s Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, said he had regrets: “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.”

Now, Mayer writes, Trump attorney Jason Greenblatt “demands that Schwartz send ‘a certified check made payable to Mr. Trump’ for all of the royalties he had earned on the book, along with Schwartz’s half of the book’s $500,000 advance. (The memoir has sold approximately a million copies, earning Trump and Schwartz each several million dollars.) Greenblatt also orders Schwartz to issue ‘a written statement retracting your defamatory statements,’ and to offer written assurances that he will not ‘generate or disseminate’ any further ‘baseless accusations’ about Trump.”

Schwartz says he will keep speaking out.

Morning Reads is compiled by John Light and Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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